Social determinants of health

Closing the gap in a generation - how?


Tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources

Inequity in the conditions of daily living is shaped by deeper social structures and processes. The inequity is systematic, produced by social norms, policies and practices, and practices that tolerate or actually promote unfair distribution of and access to power, wealth and other necessary social resources. The Commission calls for:

  • health equity to become a marker of government performance;
  • national capacity for progressive taxation to be built;
  • existing commitments to be honoured by increasing global aid to 0.7% of GDP;
  • health equity impact assessments of major global, regional and bilateral economic agreements;
  • strengthening of public sector leadership in the provision of essential health-related goods/services and control of health damaging commodities;
  • gender equity to be promoted through enforced legislation;
  • a gender equity unit to be created and financed;
  • the economic contribution of housework, care work, and voluntary work to be included in national accounts;
  • all groups in society to be empowered through fair representation in decision-making;
  • civil society to be enabled to organize and act in a manner that promotes and realizes the political and social rights affecting health equity;
  • the UN to adopt health equity as a core global development goal and use a social determinants of health framework to monitor progress.
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